Best-Books-for-Writing-a-Business-Plan

The 10 Best Books for Writing a Business Plan

There are a lot of insightful thoughts around the concept of planning. In a sense, planning helps you forecast the “weather” of your business. Prepares you for what might happen. And distance you, hopefully, further away from your business going to dust. Most importantly, it allows you to think about the type of tasks you should focus on doing today. Do we know how to plan our business if we’re not business owners, though?

There is nothing wrong with having a regular job.

A lot of people are doing it.

Theoretically, since we’re born. We enter a sophisticated system of government-operated institutions that aim to spit us out after approximately 20 years, ready to help someone else grow his dream business.

You’re thought -sort of – how to plan your career. But you’re never thought how to plan your business.

Regardless of your current situation. The idea of starting a business or learning basic business skills will surely reach your mind at some point.

If you’re still not sure whether or not this is something you can achieve on your own. The business books mentioned below are specifically selected to boost your planning skills.

These books, of course, primarily serve business owners or people that are dreaming of becoming such.

Yet, these reads will definitely expand your horizon even if you don’t plan on starting your own thing right now. They will give you a perspective that will force you to think long term – the best way of thinking.

The 10 Best Books for Writing a Business Plan:

1. The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt

The Goal by Elliot Goldratt cover

What’s the book about?

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt is a novel. A fascinating story that describes the life of a business owner who is facing a series of obstacles that, if not handled well, will lead to a catastrophic ending of the company he is running. Mr. Goldratt presents this fictional business environment to teach us an important lesson: That the speed of a convoy is determined by the slowest ship.

Who is it for?

Especially interesting for people who already own businesses but are struggling to grow. For people who can’t adequately articulate what is wrong with what they are doing. Eliyahu Goldratt teaches us that we should observe a business as a series of systems. The faster the systems operate. The faster you’ll grow. To speed up this process, first, you need to identify the weakest link and improve upon the process.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“Since the strength of the chain is determined by the weakest link, then the first step to improve an organization must be to identify the weakest link.” Eliyahu M. Goldratt

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2. The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by Jim Horan

The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by Jim Horan book cover

What’s the book about?

In this book, Jim Horan compiles his years of experience as a Fortune 500 executive and business consultant. The pages will help you quickly form a simple business plan based on the most successful companies in the world. The book goes through the 5 stages every organization hoping to make a profit from their products and/or services needs: Vision, Mission, Objectives, Strategies, Action.

Who is it for?

This resource is great for people just starting their online or offline venture. Folks who are considering the idea of starting a business but are not quite sure what to do first. The One Page Business Plan For Creative Entrepreneur will show you the exact steps you need to begin your entrepreneurial journey.

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3. Mind Your Business by Ilana Griffo

Mind Your Business by Ilana Griffo book cover

What’s the book about?

This long-winded title is here to show you how to start a business from scratch. Ilana Griffo, the author, shares her journey on how she started her side hustle which eventually become a six-figure design studio. A lot of readers describe this title as everything you need to learn about being your own boss. Of course, it all starts with planning.

Who is it for?

Great book for anyone dreaming about starting a creative project both online and/or offline. The honest tips and the real-world insights will show you exactly what you need to do. How to start and how to plan your day. The book is the perfect companion that will be your guide in your money-making journey.

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4. Business Plan Template And Example by Alex Genadinik

Business Plan Template And Example by Alex Genadinik book cover

What’s the book about?

Simply put, this title will help you create a professional business plan. The author even boasts that you will do the planning in minutes. Not that you should rush. But the included exercises and the questions Alex Genadinik is asking in the book will help you think critically about your overall structure and the products you will be creating – or refining if you already have existing goods.

Who is it for?

The program presented in this title is used by a number of universities to teach students how to plan better. As stated in the description, the book… “will help you identify the most effective business strategies for your situation.” You will start by writing a short 3-sentence business plan which will focus you on what’s truly important.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“Product: What is the product or service? What benefit does it provide and to whom? Can you make it inexpensively and of high quality? What form will it take? Website? App? Brick and mortar business? Marketing: Identify a few of the most effective marketing strategies to promote your business Finances: What are the major sources of revenue? How will this happen profitably? When will you achieve financial sustainability? Do you need to raise money for this? How much?” Alex Genadinik

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5. The Best-Laid Business Plans by Paul Barrow

The Best-Laid Business Plans by Paul Barrow book cover

What’s the book about?

The first book I read on business planning. Foreword by Richard Branson. This title is dated, but still adequate even though everything is happening online these days. The text will teach you the most important ideas around planning a business. It’s full of case studies about different projects and ideas. The author carefully explains how to present your business plan to others in a way that everyone will get.

Who is it for?

This book will explain in a simple way why it’s essential and how you should approach the subject of planning in general. The ideas inside are great for people who are looking to raise money or get approval from seniors for their proposed course of action. Also, if you’re still not convinced that you need planning, this book will surely change your perspective.

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6. Smart Business by Ming Zeng

Smart Business by Ming Zeng book cover

What’s the book about?

Written by Ming Zeng, the former Chief of Staff and strategy adviser to Alibaba Group’s founder Jack Ma. This book presents a framework that will help business owners create a winning future strategy for their companies. The titles reveal some of the revolutionary practices Alibaba developed to rapidly increase efficiency.

Who is it for?

We commonly read about what Google is doing or about what other Silicon Valley unicorns are working on. It’s a good idea to take a fresh eastern perspective on how to operate your business. Smart Business will show you how to use cutting-edge technologies to plan and scale your business.

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7. Measure What Matters by John E. Doerr

Measure What Matters by John E. Doerr book cover

What’s the book about?

Measure What Matter will teach you how to use Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as an approach to make decisions in business. The legendary John Doerr has helped some of the best companies in the world to scale and exceed their yearly goals by using this simple method.

Who is it for?

With time, every owner begins to collect all kinds of data to measure whether or not his project is succeeding. Sadly, many entrepreneurs end up being fixated on the wrong things. This book will explain what you need to measure and why. Helping you focus on the right things so you can reach explosive growth.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“We must realize—and act on the realization—that if we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing.” John Doerr

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8. Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David

Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David book cover

What’s the book about?

In short, this book is about figuring out what you should do next. Taking a holistic view of your business is always a good way to think about where you plan to go. Occasionally, though, you also need to think and plan about what you should do right now – planning your next few moves. The steps inside this title will help you gain clarity on what you really want, who you want to be, and what to do to get these things.

Who is it for?

For those who are not only working on businesses, but in business as well. Patrick Bet-David explains how to not let emotions cloud your judgment. How to switch from a broad view of your business to a narrower view. Essentially, the lessons inside will help you identify your true self. Understand who you want to be and where you want to go, both in your life and in your business.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“Your vision must align with who you want to be. Your choices must align with your vision. Your effort must align with the size of your vision. Your behavior must align with your values and principles.” Patrick Bet-David

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9. Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder

Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder book cover

What’s the book about?

Full of visual elements, Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers will help you soak up the knowledge and figure out your own business model. This is not your regular book where you’ll be presented with a wall of text. The title is full of infographics and design elements that will prompt you to actively work on defining your business plan and your strategy.

Who is it for?

I’d say that this book is for people who are kind of tired of the traditional corporate-heavy jargon that is usually part of business literature. This title combines useful information and presents it in an easily digestible matter that will surely increase your comprehension and your participation when using the material.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“People are moved more by stories than by logic. Ease listeners into the new or unknown by building the logic of your model into a compelling narrative.” Alexander Osterwalder

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10. Playing to Win by A.G. Lafley

Playing to Win by A.G. Lafley book cover

What’s the book about?

Written by a long-standing Procter & Gamble Chairman and CEO, this book might seem a bit dry for your taste. Well, it surely is. Rarely anyone below CEO will relate to the mentioned examples. Yet, this read will change the way you think about your business. You’ll become more strategic with your daily decisions. You will become better at identifying what to do and what not to do.

Who is it for?

Great companies do not become great by accident. They become great thanks to the strategic choices they make. Even if you don’t end up getting the book, simply consider the title for a moment: “Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works”. Now, ask yourself, are you playing to win, or are you simply playing? This question alone will disturb your current processes and assist you in finding the best course of action for your business.

Thought-Provoking Quote:

“The heart of strategy is the answer to two fundamental questions: where will you play, and how will you win there?” A.G. Lafley

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Some Closing Thoughts

Business planning is important for various reasons.

Not only you’ll get clarity on where you’ll want to go. But you will also set a to-do list that will portray how to get to where you want.

More specifically, conducting a business plan will force you to think about what type of business you want to create. Understand your core motivators. Help you find your unique proposition and how you are different from the rest of the businesses out there.

I’ve hand-picked the selection of business books above so you can plan better. Of course, you don’t need to read all of the titles. Usually one or two from the list is enough to get you moving in the right direction.

If you’re looking for more reads on the topic. Make sure to check my must-read business books list. Or, the selection of books on how to start a business (plus my business book summaries).

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